The Scapa distillery was constructed in 1885 by John T. Townsend and Mr. Macfarlane. In 1919 their private company was purchased by Scapa Distilling Company Limited which in turn went into liquidation resulting in the halt of whisky production in 1934. In 1936 Maurice and John Bloch, whom also owned Glengyle and Glen Scotia, purchased the distillery. The Bloch brothers were brokers and blenders of whisky who apparently needed the Scapa whisky for their "Ambassador" blend, which had a very good reputation with many single malt fans.
Hiram Walker and Sons purchased the distillery in 1954 and set to work on upgrading the equipment. In 1959 they replaced the existing stills with a "Lomond still" as many Hiram Walker distilleries were upgraded to this style of still as well. The Lomond still was modern take on the pot still design with a modified swan neck and the straight pipe fitted with three adjustable "recitfier" plates. These plates could be positioned and cooled separately to control the reflux of the boiling whisky. Hiram Walker was trying to influence whiskys character so as to meet the demands of the whisky blenders. Being very labor intensive to maintain, the majority of these stills were removed in the 80's. Scapa's still was left in place, although the rectifier plates were removed so it could be used as a traditional still.
Scapa distillery was mothballed in 1994. In 1997 a crew from nearby Highland Park distillery would visit the distillery once a year to produce a little whiskey. In 2004 major renovations took place and full time whisky production resumed. In 2005 Pernod Richard, through Chivas Brothers, became the owners of the distillery.